The Verge interviews Phil Spencer - ‘The business isn’t how many consoles you sell’

Bitch Pudding

Member
Oct 25, 2017
2,089
I don’t even know why it needs to be asked. like the only way they could be clearer about their direction is if they hit you with a sledgehammer in your face.


How did you guys got that impression? For me he is quite clearly making the distinction he decided to talk only about the most powerful one at e3, and having nothing else to announce now.

In other words lockhart does not exist at this moment only at a PR standpoint
To be clear, for now there isn't any crystal clear evidence around that Lockhart was cancelled. Nor is there any evidence MS is still planning to launch that SKU.

We've all read certain opinion pieces as well as journalists and other industry-related players which statet they've heard "rumors", and that's pretty much it. The latest ones I've read here strongly suggested Lockhart is cancelled, but that might as well be the result of my selective perception...

What I observed is that MS clearly changed their PR standpoint, as you called it, since April. Neither right before nor during E3 did MS refer to Anaconda as being determined to become the - by far - most powerful next console out there. Instead the Head of Microsoft Game Studios literally said "we're also in a world where speed is starting not to matter". Which for all I know indicated there was indeed a change of plan regarding the market proposition of the Anaconda SKU.

What's more, everyone's talking about Anaconda and PS5 devkits and how they compare to each other. Yet there isn't a single one out there talking about Lockhart devkits. Which is kinda odd since Lockhart is supposed to be the baseline for next gen gaming - and how can anyone develop a next gen exclusive game without knowning that baseline hardware (might be possible for all I know, still though!).
 

KayonXaikyre

Member
Oct 27, 2017
772
Makes sense. Back in the day companies used to sell consoles at a loss so I guess it hasn't really always been a bout that for a while but more about the amount of software you can get sold to make up for all of the costs. Stuff is weird now a days with microtransactions, DLC, and subscriptions so it'll be interesting to see how things are moving forward. That said... more consoles sold will help with that lol.
 
Oct 27, 2017
3,350
MS isn't battling Nintendo or Sony anymore, they are battling Google's Stadia. That's where the future of gaming is to be 'untied' to a console as much as possible. That's where all the money and opportunity is. Even Sony gets this and is using Azure for their services plan.
That's a myth, and you may feel free to believe it, but MS as usual fights on several fronts. Don't believe me? Just watch that cute little Scarlett reveal again.
 

Darkstorne

Member
Oct 26, 2017
1,611
England
To be clear, for now there isn't any crystal clear evidence around that Lockhart was cancelled. Nor is there any evidence MS is still planning to launch that SKU.

We've all read certain opinion pieces as well as journalists and other industry-related players which statet they've heard "rumors", and that's pretty much it. The latest ones I've read here strongly suggested Lockhart is cancelled, but that might as well be the result of my selective perception...

What I observed is that MS clearly changed their PR standpoint, as you called it, since April. Neither right before nor during E3 did MS refer to Anaconda as being determined to become the - by far - most powerful next console out there. Instead the Head of Microsoft Game Studios literally said "we're also in a world where speed is starting not to matter". Which for all I know indicated there was indeed a change of plan regarding the market proposition of the Anaconda SKU.

What's more, everyone's talking about Anaconda and PS5 devkits and how they compare to each other. Yet there isn't a single one out there talking about Lockhart devkits. Which is kinda odd since Lockhart is supposed to be the baseline for next gen gaming - and how can anyone develop a next gen exclusive game without knowning that baseline hardware (might be possible for all I know, still though!).
Given they're also now stating that all first party games will run on Xbox One but "play best on Scarlett", I think it's likely that an entry level model (Lockhart) has indeed been scrapped. Xbox One S is your entry level Scarlett, essentially.
 

Kilgore

Member
Feb 5, 2018
2,178
We heard the same stuff back in 2001 when Microsoft entered the console business. And here we are almost 20 years later and Microsoft is a distant third in the console business , humiliated by these toy companies time and time again.
Original Xbox sold better than Gamecube, 360 fought the good fight with sony last gen as equals, and Xbox One has sold way more consoles than Wii Ü that is the Nintendo console that shared generation with One. With their ups and lows Microsoft have a healthy business in games and is investing.

Microsoft is a big player in games by their own merits.
 

cakely

Member
Oct 27, 2017
6,328
Chicago
I'd like to come back to this quote when the Xbox One outsells the PlayStation 4 in for a month in NPD.

I mean, it does happen, and Microsoft isn't shy about a little trash-talk on Twitter when it does.
 
Aug 23, 2018
156

rokkerkory

Member
Jun 14, 2018
3,280
That's a myth, and you may feel free to believe it, but MS as usual fights on several fronts. Don't believe me? Just watch that cute little Scarlett reveal again.
The market is transitioning to cloud + content so of course in the current time, they are battling on all fronts and they have the means to do it. That's why we are still getting scarlett and whatever comes next after it.
 

Lukas Taves

Member
Oct 28, 2017
4,286
Brazil
To be clear, for now there isn't any crystal clear evidence around that Lockhart was cancelled. Nor is there any evidence MS is still planning to launch that SKU.

We've all read certain opinion pieces as well as journalists and other industry-related players which statet they've heard "rumors", and that's pretty much it. The latest ones I've read here strongly suggested Lockhart is cancelled, but that might as well be the result of my selective perception...

What I observed is that MS clearly changed their PR standpoint, as you called it, since April. Neither right before nor during E3 did MS refer to Anaconda as being determined to become the - by far - most powerful next console out there. Instead the Head of Microsoft Game Studios literally said "we're also in a world where speed is starting not to matter". Which for all I know indicated there was indeed a change of plan regarding the market proposition of the Anaconda SKU.

What's more, everyone's talking about Anaconda and PS5 devkits and how they compare to each other. Yet there isn't a single one out there talking about Lockhart devkits. Which is kinda odd since Lockhart is supposed to be the baseline for next gen gaming - and how can anyone develop a next gen exclusive game without knowning that baseline hardware (might be possible for all I know, still though!).
From a PR perspective, his response more confirms Lockhart than denies it. If it was cancelled we would have said: We will only have a single SKU at launch or something in that sense. Saying that he is only talking about the most powerful one, confirms there are less powerful machines that he is simply choosing not to talk about.

Regarding the insiders, the ones that talked about Lockhart talked about many more stuff, including project Scarlett itself. They knew the code names, some details as raytracing and SSD months before this E3, and at least from what I last saw they all said Lockhart is still in the game.

As for devkits, there was never going to be Lockhart devkits, as Ms provides a single devkit that can change the performance profile. It did so with X that replaced S, and according to insiders the Anaconda devkit goes even further with profiles from scarlet all the way to anaconda.

Of course, there’s no guarantee that Ms will launch both, in the end it may as well decide against to, but I don’t see any indication that it’s currently cancelled.
 
Oct 25, 2017
1,718
I really like that Microsoft carved their own lane to do something different than follow behind Sony. It may be lame for some because that change is hard to swallow and we are yet in another Microsoft era where they will change the Dynamics of gaming like they did with paying for online....but the truth is....someone has to. So I agree with what he's saying. It does force everyone else to consider their position and make the right moves to accommodate it or again, find their own lane. So it will be interesting to see where this goes.

Personally, I'm still down with the traditional, but I am very here for whatever they choose to do.
 

Alexandros

Member
Oct 26, 2017
6,113
Remember the 2-3 months the slim outsold ps4? They ran an ad saying "Best selling console in the US;"
I don't think you understand what is being said in the interview. It's not "Microsoft doesn't care about selling lots of consoles". The gist of it is that selling consoles is one of the ways to achieve the goal of getting people to use and make purchases through your ecosystem. One of the ways, not the only one anymore like it used to be in the past.
 

jroc74

Member
Oct 27, 2017
5,254
Original Xbox sold better than Gamecube, 360 fought the good fight with sony last gen as equals, and Xbox One has sold way more consoles than Wii Ü that is the Nintendo console that shared generation with One. With their ups and lows Microsoft have a healthy business in games and is investing.

Microsoft is a big player in games by their own merits.
I agree with all this, but let's not leave the Switch out.

True the Wii U started this gen, but the Switch is counted as this gen too.

I think something that goes under the radar a bit is the Switch will more than likely pass the XBO in sales.
 

harSon

Member
Oct 30, 2017
2,158
Microsoft as a whole is moving towards a platform agnostic services model. Clearly the Xbox One not selling as well as anticipated has a role in the division's shift in philosophy to align with the company as a whole. The division being in a rut until recent memory is the groundwork they needed to make these sweeping changes. Had the Xbox One been experiencing groundbreaking sales like the Playstation 4 and Switch, would they be moving in this direction so rapidly? Absolutely not, why make a hard pivot away from something that's clearly working for you. That's why I believe that Sony cannot and will not follow Microsoft's footsteps, and that's because it'd be foolish - and investors will not sacrifice immediate revenue forfeiture for the potential of greater long term gains.

Business isn't static. It's always growing, always changing. And to dig up quotes from Microsoft years ago in an attempt to score some points against them now is nothing more than console war BS. Microsoft wouldn't have purchased 7 studios, built 2-3 additional ones, and given the notion that they'll acquire more - if they didn't truly believe this service oriented, platform agnostic, streaming tinged experience wasn't worth putting money behind. It's certainly a departure from what we're used to seeing from the platform holders, but that does not necessarily means it's deficient. It remains to be seen if these changes will bare fruit from Microsoft.
 

metalgear89

Member
Oct 27, 2017
620
I really like that Microsoft carved their own lane to do something different than follow behind Sony. It may be lame for some because that change is hard to swallow and we are yet in another Microsoft era where they will change the Dynamics of gaming like they did with paying for online....but the truth is....someone has to. So I agree with what he's saying. It does force everyone else to consider their position and make the right moves to accommodate it or again, find their own lane. So it will be interesting to see where this goes.

Personally, I'm still down with the traditional, but I am very here for whatever they choose to do.
Gamepass, xcloud and games for gold are all derivatives(not literally) of ps plus and psnow. They haven't really carved their own lane they are following what sony created(onlive for the streaming bit).
 

jroc74

Member
Oct 27, 2017
5,254
From a PR perspective, his response more confirms Lockhart than denies it. If it was cancelled we would have said: We will only have a single SKU at launch or something in that sense. Saying that he is only talking about the most powerful one, confirms there are less powerful machines that he is simply choosing not to talk about.

Regarding the insiders, the ones that talked about Lockhart talked about many more stuff, including project Scarlett itself. They knew the code names, some details as raytracing and SSD months before this E3, and at least from what I last saw they all said Lockhart is still in the game.

As for devkits, there was never going to be Lockhart devkits, as Ms provides a single devkit that can change the performance profile. It did so with X that replaced S, and according to insiders the Anaconda devkit goes even further with profiles from scarlet all the way to anaconda.

Of course, there’s no guarantee that Ms will launch both, in the end it may as well decide against to, but I don’t see any indication that it’s currently cancelled.
Damn, forgot all about the leaks, rumors.

Was waiting for this E3 to see if they panned out, looks like did. For the base specs anyway.

Still can't believe SSD will be in next gen consoles.
 

Cpt-GargameL

Member
Oct 27, 2017
3,370
It will take a screw up ala PS3..Playstation is also very strong in NA, as per this gen and every other gen minus PS3. They won't dominate NA either. We will see. There is nothing "Easy" about it. Playstation is a formidable foe people still like to downplay.
Precisely. I've owned both this gen and love both but MS messed up this gen and SONY dominated basically every region worldwide with the PS4 along with PS1/PS2. They messed up with PS3 due to pricing and learned from that with the PS4. As you can see, they've always dominated NA and worldwide and the only reason MS dominated NA last gen was because SONY screwed up with the PS3.

SONY will continue to dominate worldwide if they continue with their message on the PS5 as they did with PS4.
 

Kilgore

Member
Feb 5, 2018
2,178
I agree with all this, but let's not leave the Switch out.

True the Wii U started this gen, but the Switch is counted as this gen too.

I think something that goes under the radar a bit is the Switch will more than likely pass the XBO in sales.
The switch is the next gen console from Nintendo and will compete with PS5 and Xbox Whatever.
 

Rosol

Member
Oct 29, 2017
247
I get the feeling here is Microsoft again, trying to push the next 'big' thing or market shift ahead of the others (cloud gaming, kinect, physical/digital hybrid last gen for example) In the end, gamers (especially older ones) are a stubborn bunch that like the old console model and it simply won't work to push into these new models - they may end up losing even more market share next gen.
 

Sangetsu-II

Member
Oct 26, 2017
1,621
Makes no sense is he saying he would be happy if Xbox Scarlett only sold 10 million console lifetime so long as people sub to gamepass and buy games?

It absolutely matters how many consoles you sales.

More consoles = more people buying games

Unless you want to become third party and only depend on services that are available everywhere else. That's their future it seems.

I'm still trying to understand how you make more money from $10 a month than selling the game for $60 per day.
 

woolyninja

Member
Oct 27, 2017
480
If that's the case why even have an Xbox console? They already release all their games for PC so why not just create an Xbox Windows PC with standard parts and call it a day?

They'd still be able to do GamePass (for PC), create their 1st party games for PC, etc. They'd lose nothing except their R&D costs would go waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay down.
 

Curufinwe

Member
Oct 27, 2017
4,018
I agree with all this, but let's not leave the Switch out.

True the Wii U started this gen, but the Switch is counted as this gen too.

I think something that goes under the radar a bit is the Switch will more than likely pass the XBO in sales.
It should pass the Xbox One in sales this year. It was already at 34.74 million in April.

 

Cpt-GargameL

Member
Oct 27, 2017
3,370
The switch is the next gen console from Nintendo and will compete with PS5 and Xbox Whatever.
It's weird position because they have been releasing their stuff in the middle of the gen (sort of) but imo Switch is both this gen and next. Their next Switch model (pro or whatever it'll be called) will also be part of this gen along with next gen.
 

Kiekura

Member
Mar 23, 2018
1,335
I don’t even know why it needs to be asked. like the only way they could be clearer about their direction is if they hit you with a sledgehammer in your face.


How did you guys got that impression? For me he is quite clearly making the distinction he decided to talk only about the most powerful one at e3, and having nothing else to announce now.

In other words lockhart does not exist at this moment only at a PR standpoint
I see zero reasons why not mention more affordaple console too already. I am willing to make avatar bet that we only get one console.
 

Lokimaster

Member
May 12, 2019
77
Net Annual Income 2018:

Microsoft 16.6 Billion USD (...and this was actually down from the previous year)
Sony 4.4 Billion USD (...which was a 550% INCREASE from the previous year)
Nintendo 1.3 Billion USD

-Microsoft doesn't need to sell as much hardware as Sony or Nintendo to make a bigger profit overall.

You do know that MS has had more money than Sony and Nintendo combined since they have got into the console business, and that money has yet to help them win over sony and nintendo not one time? Yea so this isn't even about MS vs Sony and Nintendo, its about Xbox vs Playstation Vs Nintendo in the video game department. Period